ANNA Shelter Director at Deadly Las Vegas Concert When Gunfire Erupted
The director of the ANNA Shelter Ruth Thompson was in attendance of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival when a lone gunman opened fire at the crowd. Ruth tells Erie News Now she was in a VIP section and watched people die right in front of her.
As witnesses of the Las Vegas mass shooting describe what they saw, Erie News Now is hearing a first-hand account from the ANNA Shelter’s director, Ruth Thompson.
"I really thought I was going to die. I never experienced that in my life,” Ruth says.
She and her boyfriend Craig Stainbrook were in a VIP section at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival when the shots rang out.
"You would see they would get hit and their body would fly up in the air. And I look back to grab Craig's arm and the people way back in the crowd were doing the same thing. And that's when I'm like Oh my God! This is a [expletive] massacre. There's a bunch of people shooting us,” she describes.
Ruth and Craig took cover, and someone next to them said it was a sniper from above. She says the gun fire lasted for about 20 minutes when someone came and told them to run from the VIP area.
"When I stood up to run out I saw above our head were all these bullet holes. Like if we had been standing up, we would have all been killed."
Once Ruth and Craig started running, they started seeing just how bad the situation was.
"I saw a guy laying there that was just dead, and the girl down below us got shot in the face, people were just screaming and there was blood everywhere,” Ruth says.
They continued to run, not thinking they were safe. People told them the shooter was chasing everybody.
"Wherever you went people were telling you to run or get down."
Ruth and Craig eventually made it to a highway and got a ride from a stranger to a hotel about 10 miles away from the strip. She watched the news unfold, waiting to know when she could go back to her hotel room at the Mandalay Bay on the 21st floor.
While Ruth and Craig watched and waited, police told her to use social media to ease friends and family that she was okay. Ruth says the whole ordeal is still so surreal for her, and she just can't wait to get home.
Ruth and Craig are supposed to get on a flight back to the area around 9:30 pct. The flight is scheduled as of now.